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What's holding back my gpu?

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#1
I'm running BF:V on the following system :
* Intel core i5 6600K
* EVGA GTX1080 FTW
* 16gb DDR4 2666mhz
* M.2 SSD
* 3440x1440 resolution

I see that my gpu is quite often not used for the full 99%, sometimes dipping to 80%. At first glance, I would have though that my cpu is holding me back, since the 6600K is the 'minimum', but then again I'm running at such a high res that cpu shouldn't matter that much. Strange thins is, when checking with MSI Afterburner, when I see my gpu usage being at around 80%-90% this isn't always in sync with the cpu being fully loaded. So the gpu dips occur when the cpu isn't at 100% too. I have vsync off and max framerate set to 120fps with ultra settings, so at this resolution and these settings, my GTX1080 should me maxxed out constantly.

I would've though the cpu is my bottleneck, but then why is my GPU dropping to lower scores even when the cpu isn't 100% loaded?
 

newtekie1

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#2
So the gpu dips occur when the cpu isn't at 100% too.
The CPU doesn't have to be at 100% for the CPU to be the bottleneck.
 
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#3
Oh? Is that true? That would explain a lot of course. I would say about 60% of the time, my gpu is at 99% but the rest it fluctuates between 80% and 95%. Frametime seems ok, apart from the fact that there is something causing a massive spike (usually during the start of a match). During matches, frames seem pretty stable. Even when I set all settings to low, the gain in fps isn't that high so I suppose there too the cpu is bottlenecking everything right?

Besides this 'issue' in BF, I also notice that when playing a video in youtube and simultaneously opening new windows or working in lightroom, my pc tends to stall quite a bit especially when reading from my (internal) hdd. OS is on an SSD. Could certain SATA connections on the mainboard cause performance issues on the gpu/cpu? Gonna upgrade asap anyway.
 
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#4
Intel core i5 6600K
EVGA GTX1080 FTW

I'd do that ? should be a close balance of gpu and cpu . a i7 would bump the balance up just due to hyper threading , but your not overwhelmed one way or the other . is down to what programs / games / ect uses for utilization / gpu bound / utilized or gpu bound / utilized and /or just swap between them as it demands at any point like a cutscene.

on a solid stable build that combo should do fine [opinion]

look at articles maybe like this to help understand what to look for / knowledge ?
[example]
https://www.pcgamer.com/will-your-cpu-bottleneck-your-graphics-card/
 

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#5
Lest we forget that while the OP may have a CPU bottle neck even the most demanding games may not "load" anything be it CPU or GPU to 100%. Using % usage as an indicator of system bottlenecks is not by any means a foolproof way of determining the issue.
 
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#6
Well, I do play a lot of BF:1 and BF:V (BF=Battlefield) and from what I've seen the cpu tends to be at 100% (or close to it) quite bit. I don't have any other means of testing this. Dice also quotes a 6600K as a minimum processor, since the BF games are very cpu heavy. I understand of course that I won't gain 30% fps by upgrading to a faster cpu, but I really don't know how I can determine if my cpu is the reason my gpu isn't working at 99% all the time. For reference, check some youtube vids of people paying BF:V on a GTX1080(ti) on a six or eight core cpu, I always see their gpu at 99% and cpu usage between 40% - 80%

For example :
i5 8600K (6 core cpu) with a slower card than mine > cpu usage around 80%, gpu usage mostly around 98%-99%
 
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#8
Lest we forget that while the OP may have a CPU bottle neck even the most demanding games may not "load" anything be it CPU or GPU to 100%. Using % usage as an indicator of system bottlenecks is not by any means a foolproof way of determining the issue.
Also, for the OP and others, I may add the concern over bottlenecks is way overblown.

Any system will have a bottleneck somewhere at some point, depending on the program or game being used. It will change over time.
 
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#10
dude your in a good balance of gpu and cpu and the thing is you still got gpu to move up a cpu notch or 2 as well if you wanted to

like rtwjunky and I said is what it is .. its not like you one of them guys that got a lower end CPU and slapped the strongest gpu to it and really sees his mistake in that ..lol.

I use a 980ti with a i5 non k 4670 and it works good , could a stronger cpu make it better ? why YA . is the difference all at stock worth the extra cost over all ? to me not really , its not like all I want is max fps or bench scores just run my stuff and a nice stable fluid rate

you just want to keep a as close to balance between the cpu and gpu as in one not overwhelming the other and then it like what we said ''Any system will have a bottleneck somewhere at some point, depending on the program or game being used.''

stronger is most times better and you pay for it and for me its best balance of parts at my price threshold of a build

good luck
 
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#11
The CPU is fine , but it might suffer with games like bf5 or 1 (if u are running on ultra) , just lower the setting a little bit and u r fine.
Also overclocking it would help a lot (if it's not).
 
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#12
Uhm, nope, it works the other way around. But turning settings down, the gpu is used even less to max, framerate goes up a little but cpu usage stays the same. Already tried that.
 
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#13
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#14
4c/4t has been obsolete for high refresh gaming for a couple of years.
 
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#15
4c/4t has been obsolete for high refresh gaming for a couple of years.
For games which can use more c/t, you are correct. For the majority that still cant, it's the clock speed and IPC. Just adding cores wont yield more FPS if the game cant use them. :)

There are benchmarks done on this where you can see how quickly more cores/threads doesnt give any returns. And yes, I get background processes, etc...:)
 

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#16
no thx, costs around € 370 while I can sell my current mainboard/cpu for € 225. Would cost me around € 400 to upgrade to a 8700K+Z390.
What motherboard do you have? I'd try overclocking the 6600K if your motherboard allows it. The issue is likely that BF:V is putting some load on all 4 cores, so if you are running at stock your processor will only go to 3.6GHz when playing BF:V. Which probably means the main process of the game, which is still running on a single core despite other parts of the game using the other cores, so that single core performance is why you are some times seeing the GPU be under utilized. I bet you'll see the problem largely go away if you pushed the 6600K to 4.2-4.4GHz on all cores.
 
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#17
It is running at 4.4ghz for ages, very stable oc. Mainboard is Asus Maximus Hero VIII. Got a buyer for it, upgrading to a MSI z390 Ace coupled with i7 9700k and 2x8gb ddr4 3200 will cost me about 500 euro.
 
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